Thursday, April 18, 2019

118 - “Returning!” - Eddiwarth - A Tale of Heroes

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With a creak and rattle, the carriage rolled to a stop on the cobblestone street along the Dirae waterfront. It shook from side to side, as Granthurg stood and jumped off the rumble in the back. After steadying themselves, two of the monastery’s brothers climbed down off the perch. While one went forward to tie the horses, the other came back to open the door. A cool breeze of the late morning off the river swept through the car.

Inside the carriage, Eddiwarth smiled at Thissraelle, sitting next to him. Antonerri and DeFrantis sat across from them, facing the rear. The carriage had a small interior, so they’d all had to sit pretty close for the long ride through the woods. When hearing of their decision to go, the Father Abbott had greeted them, thanked them, and insisted they take his carriage. Eddiwarth hadn’t minded. He got to sit, pressed close up to Thissraelle. It was nice, but it had been kind of awkward, especially with Antonerri and DeFrantis right there.

Antonerri got out first, then turned back to the door as DeFrantis rose and stooped through. He held her hand as she easily took the steps to the street.

Eddiwarth shifted forward in his seat, then half stood, half stooped to exit the carriage. Now what do I do? I should help her down, too, like Antonerri did. Right? Would she like that? Or would she be mad at me? She could easily get down by herself. I should let her. But then, I would be ignoring her. Oh, this is complicated!

He spun around to face the carriage door just as Thissraelle walked past him toward DeFrantis.

Oh, well... I guess that’s OK, then...

The monastery brother walked around from the back of the carriage bearing a number of bags, bundles, and bedrolls. Granthurg was already halfway down the pier toward his barge. Thissraelle and DeFrantis embraced, tightly, gently swinging from side to side. Thisraelle wore a simple travelling tunic with clean, but plain leggings and boots. DeFrantis was in her normal daily working dress.

“I’m so sorry I can’t go, Thiss.”

Thissraelle broke the embrace. “No! Don’t be sorry. I understand.”

DeFrantis gently held on to Thissraelle’s arms. “I’ve told you how I grew up on the streets. I didn’t have any sisters. Thank you for being my sister.” They embraced again. “Stay safe.”

Eddiwarth stood and waited, not sure what to say or do. He leaned over and picked up a couple of the bags and slung them over his shoulder. One of them slipped off as he bent down to pick up another.

Thissraelle stepped away and wiped her cheeks. “Take good care of Antonerri, and the kids.”

She stepped onto the pier with reluctance. Eddiwarth stumbled after her, carrying several bags and dragging another behind him. Antonerri stepped up to the other bags and called out, “I’ll help with those.” He picked up a few and followed after them.

When they got to the barge, Granthurg had already untied the lines holding the barge to the dock. They stepped on board and dropped the bags in the mostly empty cargo space in the middle. I guess Granthurg hadn’t had time to get any loads to carry. This whole trip was pretty sudden.

He watched Thissraelle step up onto the steering platform at the stern. Granthurg was there, kneeling over something under the floor. Thissraelle sat down next to him, focused on the same thing. “Watch this!” Granthurg said and held his hand out.

Eddiwarth’s focus was on Thissraelle. As had happened so often, he stared at her, following her long white hair flowing easily over her shoulders and her back. Yes, I’m watching! 

The barge suddenly lurched in the water and Eddiwarth almost lost his footing, shaking him out of his trance. It moved backward, floating away from the dock. Thissraelle laughed and clapped for Granthurg, then patted him on the shoulder.

“Hey! Wait for me to get off the boat!” Antonerri shouted, then jumped the short distance to the planks. DeFrantis had walked down the pier and joined Antonerri as they waved and called out their farewells.  Eddiwarth waved back, then went to sit on the platform. He smiled as Thissraelle sat next to him, but saw that her attention was on the dock, on DeFrantis.

Finally, she did look at him and smiled, but it was a kind of sad smile. What does THAT mean?

She spoke. “I’m hungry. Is anyone else hungry?”

End of Part 9


This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

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